Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas are taking a cautious approach to the second half of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season despite dominating the opening half of the campaign.
“As soon as you start thinking about a championship, that is the time you lose it,” said Pruett, who joined Memo Rojas in winning four of the opening six races in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley. “We need to stay focused at every race.”
Pruett and Rojas enter the second half of the season with an 18-point lead over Ryan Dalziel (190-172), looking for their second Daytona Prototype title in three years. The season enters its second half with the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank on Saturday, June 19 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates drivers finished second in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and then won at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Barber Motorsports Park and Virginia International Raceway. They recovered from a last-place finish following a first-lap incident in the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park by winning the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen.
“It's too early to take anything for granted,” Rojas said. “Lime Rock taught us that it's too early for us to talk about winning the championship. We entered that race with a very strong lead, and nearly lost it on the first lap. We cannot take anything for granted. We have to do the best we can and keep pushing to the end.”
Dalziel opened the season as part of the winning Action Express Racing lineup in the Rolex 24, and then joined Mike Forest in the No. 8 Corsa Car Care BMW/Riley, finishing second at Lime Rock Park. Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor are third with 166 points, scoring podium finishes in the last three races in the No. 10 SunTrust Ford/Dallara.
In the production-based GT class, Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato recovered from a 15-place finish in the Rolex 24 by recording back-to-back victories at Homestead and Barber in the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8. They hold a one-point lead in the GT title chase (176-175) over SpeedSource teammates Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito, who won the Rolex 24 in the No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8. Andy Lally, winner at Virginia and Watkins Glen in the No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3, is third in points with 165.
“Fortunately, we're running for the championship, and I don't view it as a burden at all,” Segal said. “In years past, we've been frustrated not being in the hunt by the time the second half of the season rolled around. It's uncharted territory for the No. 69 team, but SpeedSource has done it before and I have done it in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in 2007. So we'll see how it works out at the end of the year.”